Contemporary photo artist Robyn Cumming is based in Toronto and has a very powerful concept of art. She usually comes up with a concept first—what sort of themes she is interested in exploring and sometimes is quite specific in terms of what she is investigating… from there she plans the visual aspects of the work (color palette, props, costumes, models, etc). This series is about a group of anonymous women who are clearly as much a part of the elaborate staging as their surroundings, as evidenced in this case by their glamorous outfits. Covering the models faces, however, Robyn emphasizes their lack of identity, instead of allowing us to easily construct one for them like the filmic mothers. The women are presented as shamanistic outsiders: imbued with powerful magic, unknowable, yet unreachable because of their separation from society. The images share these characteristics, their technical and formal elements intimately tied to the content, especially when the delicately draped or found framing elements are present. Very clever and thought-provoking work!
“If she were an emotion it would be laughing that turns into coughing…and then dry-heave style crying.”
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